Poker is a card game in which players compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by all players (called the pot). Players place their bets based on their knowledge of the odds of winning and their anticipation of what other players may have. The rules of the game vary depending on the type of poker being played.
Regardless of the game being played, all online poker sites must be licensed and adhere to strict security measures to protect their customers. These include monitoring gameplay and ensuring that all players are treated fairly. In addition, licensed poker sites must offer safe deposit and withdrawal methods.
Online poker rooms also have loyalty or rewards programs that give players the chance to earn points that can be redeemed for cash or prizes. These rewards can range from free-money bonuses to tournament tickets and branded merchandise from the poker site’s store. The most common option is cash, but some sites may also give away free tournament entries or other items.
The first legal online poker sites went live in New Jersey and Nevada in 2013. Delaware was the next to pass gambling legislation, and in 2022, Michigan joined them by launching its own legal poker sites. West Virginia is expected to join the pool in 2023, though the Mountain State’s small population could make it difficult to launch a regulated poker site. In the meantime, players should stick to legally licensed sites and stay away from international poker sites that operate in gray areas of the law and outside the US.